It can be easy to fall into the trap of comparing a current relationship to some romantic ideal and feeling dissatisfied if what you have doesn't compare to what you think it should be. With that dissatisfaction you can experience some depression.  However, you should understand that there are different t types of love that match an individual's needs. With this in mind, now is a good time to examine the different types of love and what makes each of them unique.

Throughout human history and across many cultures, people have struggled with the effort to balance passionate love with companionship. While many try to find both passion and companionship in the same relationship, often we find that these two separate desires compete with each other. How can we enjoy the intense feelings that come with a passionate relationship while simultaneously feeling the safety and security that comes from long lasting companionship? In some cases, relationships that start out intense and passionate change over time into strong intimate friendships. The passion may seem to fade while trust and emotional closeness grows. Most people see this as negative and will often say to their mate: "How come you don't [insert any need] anymore" which usually leads to an argument or feelings of inadequacy.  This behavior occurs because you are likely comparing your relationship to an ideal rather than examine what you actually have objectively.

One danger in comparing your relationship to an ideal is that you could choose the wrong ideal to compare with.  A new, intensely passionate relationship couldn't possibly be expected to provide the same level of safety and security that comes from having a long history together. On the other hand, the excitement of a new relationship couldn't be matched by a long established bond. You have to decide which type of relationship better suits your needs in the phase of life you are presently in; passionate or companionship.  However, it is possible for this need to change over time due to your natural progression though life's stages.

It is important to remember that relationships are made up of people, and all people go through various moods and phases. Relationships go through different stages over time as well. It is not uncommon for couples who are involved in long standing relationships to go through periods of increased passion and romance, thereby recapturing some of the excitement that the relationship had when it was new.

Tips for maintaining a healthy outlook on your relationship:

  • Do not hold your relationship to an ideal.  The fantasy you had about your significant other at age 10 may not be what fits your lifestyle or what you need emotionally in your life path currently.
  • Be open for love and your relationship to change without judgment.
  • Enjoy the different phases relationships can take and await new interactions with excitement rather than negatively.  If you adjust your outlook on change in your relationship you might be more able to enjoy your present bond.
  • Seek professional relationship counseling if negative feelings can not be resolved.  This could provide a new perspective and assist with open communication.